Headlining the free agent market in the starting pitching category is none other than former Red Sox and Oakland Athletic Jon Lester. Cole Hamels of the Philadelphia Phillies is also said to have his name mentioned multiple times in trade talk. These two lefties symbolize one thing: Domination. Lester and Hamels have been classified as aces of their rotation and the blackjack pitchers of baseball throughout their pro careers to this point. Lester has arguably a better career overall than Hamels, recording multiple All-Star appearances and a few World Series rings.
Hamels has been overshadowed by the regular season record of the Phillies these past seasons and the lack of run support. Although, Hamels is still under contract for a few more years, the Chicago Cubs have apparently shown strong and serious interest in the lefty. The Philadelphia Phillies have not been the same since 2009, the year they lost in the World Series to the New York Yankees. Their farm system lacks in depth, development and performance. They also had a managerial issue in the past year and many players have walked away from the club in spite of playing on a better, contending team. The Chicago Cubs have just what the Phillies want: an array of talented prospects, pitching depth and solid minor-league players who have been consistent throughout their playing years.
Jon Lester is another story as to why he’s on the hot stove. In 2014, Lester, along with Johnny Gomes was traded to the Oakland Athletics for the power-hitting All-Star outfielder, Yoenis Cespedes. Lester, unsatisfied at how the playoffs went for his new team is rumored to not want to return to Oakland for another year or for many years to come. Reportedly, over ten teams have contacted Lester’s agent about the potential of signing him. The Red Sox, Yankees, Oakland A’s, Kansas City Royals, San Francisco Giants, Atlanta Braves and the Chicago Cubs have shown lots of interest so far in the offseason.
These luxury lefties could find themselves in a new home either in 2014 or 2015, so don’t be surprised if a transaction is made.